The MHS Journals

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Setting Mental Health Goals

Nov 4, 2021

A healthy young woman celebrates completing a hike as the sun is setting as part of her mental health goal setting planHenry Ford is quoted as saying, “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs,” and Confucius is claimed to have said, “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” Both of these quotes have to do with the importance of setting goals as well as the value of making them realistic and attainable.

Mental health goals are no different. Just like other types of targets you might make in life, mental health goals are vital to staying happy and healthy. What are mental health goals, and how can you achieve them? Here’s how to establish objectives and stick to them.

Setting Daily Mental Health Goals

It’s key to set targets that you can work toward daily. Here are some kinds of daily mental health goals that you may wish to improve upon if you want to be your best self. If you live near Apple Valley, MN, a network of professionals can help you with goals like these.

Maintain Regular Exercise

Your mental health is directly connected to your physical health, so taking care of your mind also means taking care of your body. One type of goal you might want to make, then, is to create a fitness routine.

There is a strong correlation between exercise and mood. If you’re under a lot of stress, going for a run or doing any other type of cardio activity will almost certainly make you feel better. In addition to the short-term benefits, regular exercise can also ease long-term depression and anxiety.

Ideally, you should aim to do 30 minutes of exercise every day for five days a week, but if you’re not ready to commit to that, a little exercise can still help improve your mental health. If you’re setting a goal of exercising more, it’s best to start slow, keep your targets achievable, and work your way up.

Get Quality Sleep

If you’re going to set targets, be sure they’re going to help you improve and stay with you for the long run. Improving your sleep is something you might want to consider.

Sleeping well is vital to maintaining one’s mental health. It may seem like a catch-22, but sleep problems make mental health issues more likely, and mental health issues make sleep problems more likely. In any general psychiatric practice, sleep problems are common among patients: 50% to 80% suffer from sleep issues compared to 10% to 18% of the general adult population.

Aiming for the target of better sleep can do wonders for your mental health. This requires good sleep hygiene, which includes doing things like writing down concerns and worries so you can deal with them the next day, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, avoiding screens before bed, doing something relaxing to lead up to sleep, and avoiding caffeine or alcohol.

Setting Weekly Goals

While your weekly mental health goals are naturally tied into your daily mental health goals, it’s vital to set targets that you don’t necessarily have to attend to every day.

Utilize a Therapist

Therapy can be extremely beneficial for your mental health, even if you don’t have a mental illness. A therapist is a trained professional who can help you achieve your objectives by offering you a safe and confidential space to discuss what you want to happen in the future and how to get it. A therapist can also help you work through your past, manage your relationships, notice patterns that may be detrimental or beneficial to your mental health, and offer coping strategies.

Seeing a therapist weekly is common, though you can set your own schedule when it comes to how often you visit yours. In Apple Valley, MN, you have access to a variety of professionals that will evaluate and suit your specific needs.

Keep Track of Your Progress

Whatever your objectives may be, you’ll want to be aware of how much progress you are or are not making in attaining them. This requires that your objectives follow the SMART method: Make them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

  • Specific: Making a goal specific means that when you reach that target, you’ll know it and feel good about yourself. Creating a mood journal for one month is an example of a specific goal.
  • Measurable: Quantifying and being able to directly measure your goal is important to fulfilling it and keeping track of your progress. If you keep a mood journal, you can keep track of how far along you are by keeping track of the number of days or weeks you’ve successfully updated your journal.
  • Attainable: If your objective is not realistic, it’s unlikely you’ll achieve it. Be sure your targets are broken down into manageable steps; for instance, saying you’ll update your mood journal three to five times per week, which allows you to forgive yourself in case you forget once or twice.
  • Relevant: A target needs to be practical and in step with your values. You should know why you’re going for a mental health goal. For example, if you want to better manage your depression, a mood journal will help you keep track of when you do or don’t feel depressed, which will, in turn, help you identify what triggers it.
  • Time-bound: Establishing a deadline for your objective makes it more likely you will attain it. Be sure your deadline is reasonable, so you don’t set yourself up for disappointment.

By following this method, you can keep your objectives reasonable and attainable, and you’ll be able to measure your growth over time and feel good about how much progress you’ve made each week.

The Feeling of Achieving Mental Health Goals

Just like any other type of goal, achieving your mental health objectives is likely to greatly improve your mood and self-confidence. When you obtain part of your goal, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment; when you complete all you’ve set out to do, you’ll feel an even greater sense of triumph. This is why goal-setters tend to be happier and healthier than those who do not set any targets for themselves: The rush of dopamine you get from crossing something off on your to-do list is very real.

For the same reason, it’s important that you’re setting realistic goals. Setting a target and failing to meet it will have the opposite effect and produce negative emotions, including disappointment and a loss of self-confidence. Always set objectives that are practical.

How Can Mental Health Systems Help With Mental Health Goals?

You may have set New Year’s goals before, but have you ever set mental health goals? Whatever improvement you want to make in your life, establishing the right mental health objectives and working to achieve them can help alleviate your mental health issues and boost self-confidence. Mental Health Systems in Apple Valley, MN, employs a network of various types of professionals that will listen to your needs and help you both create and attain mental health goals that are both important to you and realistic. Reach out to us and get started on a plan to make yourself happier and healthier.


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